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Reader comment on item: How the Cartoon Protests Harm Muslims [by Leading to a Separation of Civilizations]
in response to reader comment: Cause of the Muslim predicament

Submitted by Amir (United States), Feb 20, 2006 at 16:39

"What do you mean by minorities in Lebanon, Egypt? have you read the history? Copts of Egypt are the original and ethnic groups since the byzantine empire, Muslims conquered Egypt and converted Christians to Islam claiming that Copts were treated badly by Byzantine. "

If you want to go back in history like that, Copts were not the majority before Christianity existed. As for Arab conquest of Egypt, that's what the US Library of Congress site says about that


"Muslim conquerors habitually gave the people they defeated three alternatives: converting to Islam, retaining their religion with freedom of worship in return for the payment of the poll tax, or war. In surrendering to the Arab armies, the Byzantines agreed to the second option. The Arab conquerors treated the Egyptian Copts well. During the battle for Egypt, the Copts had either remained neutral or had actively supported the Arabs. After the surrender, the Coptic patriarch was reinstated, exiled bishops were called home, and churches that had been forcibly turned over to the Byzantines were returned to the Copts. Amr allowed Copts who held office to retain their positions and appointed Copts to other offices. "

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Lisa: "Christians Maronites in Lebanon were majority just 30-40 years ago until Shii muslims started to settle in south Lebanon and through the civil war which lasted around 15-20 years and through continuous intimidation of Christians and through the high rate of birth of Muslims, Lebanon all of a sudden was claimed by muslims, Christians now are about 30% they used to be 80% just 30-40 years ago."

Christians were never 80% in Lebanon. Lebanon was an artificial state setup by French to establish a Christian majority country (they gave Christians all the power -- one of the causes of the civil war -- even though they were not the majority -- at best they were 50%) . Many Christians in Lebanon migrated to other countries during the civil war (they were richer and could afford to do so). That's the main cause why the percentage of Christians decreased.

"Tolerance of minorities in Malaysia? are you serious?"

Yes, according to the US State Department report the restrictions in Malaysia are mostly directed at other Islamic sects (like Shi'a etc)


"The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, but it also recognizes Islam as the country's religion.


"State governments impose Islamic religious law on Muslims in some cultural and social matters but generally do not interfere with the religious practices of the non-Muslim community.


"Several religious holy days are recognized as official holidays, including Hari Raya Puasa (Muslim), Hari Raya Qurban (Muslim), the Prophet Muhammed's birthday (Muslim), Wesak Day (Buddhist), Deepavali (Hindu), Christmas (Christian), and, in East Malaysia, Good Friday (Christian)."

Better than say in France where Muslim women are not allowed to wear what they think is their religious duty like head scarf in public schools or government buildings.

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